Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Self-Interview March 2015

Q:  I haven’t been able to pin you down for a long while now.  You isolating?  Been avoiding me?

A:  It’s been a long cold winter.  Snow is still all we can see in every direction.  It’s supposed to be Spring.  But it’s all the same, isn’t it, all God’s brilliant, pulsating play of the present moment.  I think I’ve finally been able to be content and whole within myself, unrelated to anything in the outer world.  Kay and I have decided that the best approach to being together until the end is to simply accept each other as we are.  Trying to change each other at our age is very tiring, frustrating, and just not worth it.  We are beyond being improved upon.  We can only grow within.

Q:  What mostly still gets to you?

A:  The only thing I’ve noticed in a long time is my children.  They still have the power (which I have given them) to affect my feelings.  I just want to always live in harmony, respect, and love with them.  It’s pretty unconditional for me, and I think that truly it is for them too, but I have a tendency to think I’ve done or not done something that displeased them or that they disapproved of.  My younger son Shane always asks me why I bother to do that; he always makes me contemplate something I need to better understand.  When Graham Nash wrote ‘teach your parents well,’ he really nailed it.  I learn a lot from them, but not much surprises me from other people.

Q:  How is it that nothing surprises you about other people?

A:  Well, I’ve been ‘officially’ working with people for about 40 years now.  A lot of people have shared very openly and honestly with me.  After a while everything is simply some variation of something you’ve already experienced or seen.  I don’t remember hearing or reading anything in a long time from anyone that seemed really new or original.  It’s just this person’s version of something that’s basically very common, an aspect of human nature, or of the human condition.

Q:  Is there a difference between human nature and the human condition.

A:  Of course.  Human nature is the way people naturally are.   The human condition is the way people have been conditioned to be.  We do this that we share together here and in the Course to break free from the human condition, and to simply flow freely with our human nature—which is an essential aspect of what we are to do during this physical incarnation.

Q:  I’ve read your blog entries now and then, not as much as would be good for me, I admit.  (See, I didn’t even say ‘should have’ because I know you don’t like us to ‘should’ on ourselves.)  Every blog entry seems quite different from the previous one, and yet somehow there seems to be a great order inherent in your teachings.  Where does that primordial order come from?

A:  That idea ‘your teachings’ brings up this great wince inside me.  I have no teachings.  I invented no philosophy.  I certainly never followed a religion.  I had the good fortune in my life to spend some quality time with some of the great spiritual Teachers and Leaders during my lifetime, and I wanted the knowledge as I wanted to breathe, and I soaked it up like a sponge.  Even at 15 I intuitively knew that this knowledge, and the ability to apply it in daily life, was the most important thing in the world.  In my 70th year I would not be still writing this otherwise. 

So what you are calling ‘teachings’ are Principles of Truth as they were taught to me by my major teachers, assimilated, and coming out in a generic form that includes all traditions and paths simultaneously.  I am basically a typist and seemingly a regular person in all ways, although admittedly my own children have sincerely (though lightheartedly) let me know that I had to admit it, that I am definitely bizarre.

Anyway, the Principles of Truth go back to the beginning of time, even before humanity roamed the earth.  That spark of Truth was hidden where most human beings would be unlikely to look for it—within themselves.  For some reason I was ‘appointed’ at an early age in an unlikely environment and family history to transmit the Principles not only mentally but experientially, so that people can actually experience what they are reading as they are reading it.  It simply requires the least bit of openness and receptivity to the possibility, and the rest just happens.

At 30 or 40 or maybe even 50 I could seem very deluded for saying such things, but at this time of my life I could care less if anyone thinks I’m deluded.  If I’m deluded, it’s okay with me.  I have simply practiced to prove the Truth to myself, and am now passing on the teachings of my Teachers.  I have to think I’m something in order to be deluded, and I know there’s nothing here but the Self.  And you can experience it too—right Now—pure Consciousness.

And then life goes on.  We do our work.  We walk the dog.  We remain connected to family and dharma where family life is concerned.  We shovel the snow (written in the winter of ’15).  We do what needs to be done.  We set along some time for some guilt-free relaxation and recreation—which is essential to a balanced life.  Everyone has a karmic play to flow through.  If we can simply remain in harmony with whatever comes up, we will enjoy life and be satiated in love.

Q:  Wow, you say you don’t have teachings, yet once you get going…

A:  Yes, it’s a great paradox.  It’s like a water faucet.  You turn it on and it just flows until it is turned off.

Q:  You don’t communicate like you have something memorized.  You really just let it flow spontaneously, don’t you?

A:  Yes, after all these years, that turns out to be true after all.  I don’t know anything.  I can’t even remember things.  Sometimes I’ll be doing something I’ve done easily all my life, and somehow I’ll be meticulously going through each detail, like a child who was learning how to do something for the first time.  For all I know there’s not much difference between me and a person with dementia.  The primary difference is in Awareness.  Awareness can get you through dementia so easily that you’ll actually enjoy it.

Lacking in Awareness, however, and the flame goes out.  There’s simply a vacancy.  Awareness is ahead of everything—way ahead of mind or emotions.  It is awareness that allows us to ‘see’ and ‘know’ our thoughts and feelings.  It is also awareness to see that there are no thoughts or feelings.

Q:  Where does the Awareness come from?

A:  That’s a great question, but there’s no answer that satisfies the mind.  Awareness is Self-emanating.  It is its own Source, for nothing else exists, except the relative world we can be aware of.  Is the sun a source of light or a receptor of light?  We know that moonlight is a reflection of sunlight, but what is sunlight the reflection of?  It is is the Light of the Self, the Light of Consciousness.

Q:  So you can live in this Light and still be affected emotionally by your children?

A:  It’s a great paradox, isn’t it?  We live on so many levels of existence simultaneously; there are so many dimensions that exist concurrently, right now, and we play our own dharmic role in each.  On one level we are pure Light, Love, and Bliss, undisturbed by the mind, the emotions, or the outer world, including this physical body we presently to occupy.  On another level we are incarnated in a physical body as a cycle of karma, part of the Soul’s journey back Home.  And we have all the same potential human feelings and experiences as any other human.  We never really ‘go beyond’ anything, except in self-righteousness.

Our life manifests as our individual, unique karma—a karmic movie.  If we can remember we are the audience, the Observer, the Witness, of the movie, and don’t get personally involved with characters or happenings, then we will simply enjoy a good movie.  Sometimes it will be a love story.  Sometimes a melodrama.  Sometimes it will be horror movie.  Other times an action movie, or a slice of life, or intense suspense, yet other times a comedy.  Some movies are even ‘black humor,’ which are among my favorite.

I am the last remaining parent my children have.  I feel I have a lot more to ‘live up to’ than I probably would if their mother were still alive.  She was kind of the ‘primary’ parent, as mothers usually are.  I pitched in the best I could and was always there for them.  Now, though, they are old enough to take care of themselves, although my daughter won’t be 20 until May.  She is very mature and sensible, though, and very strong too for her experiences in life, so I feel really good about how all their lives are going.  Still I am always 50 years older than my daughter is.  Although I probably did my best parenting with her, at a more mature age, the downside of having a daughter at 50 is that no matter how long I live, she will still be relatively young.  But that’s the karma we signed up for.  I’m sure everything will work out perfectly.

Q:  How do you and Kay get along together?

A:  What can I say?  We met at a Yoga Conference in the summer of ’76.  I was teaching and she showed up for the class.  For many years she’s been my best friend and confidant, and for most of that time she’s worked closely with me and has been the Course manager for many years, in its different manifestations.  I don’t know of anyone else offhand who could help me get the Course out the way she does.  We are a good match, enjoy pretty much the same things, and have mostly learned to simply accept each other as we are.  In case you’ve never tried it, it’s pretty hard to change someone at 70 for the better.  As the songwriter John Prine once put it, “You are what you are and you ain’t what you ain’t.”  That about sums it up.

Q:  Do you have anything particular to say to people reading this who aren’t taking the Course?

A:  You’re missing out on one of the best things available in the physical world for inner development and increased understanding.  There is nothing else similar to the Course of Training via email, with two new lessons every month.  You might think it’s like something else, but I can assure you that it isn’t, and there are a few hundred students who will tell you how true that is.  In fact, going back to its beginning in 1975, more than 50,000 people have taken the Course in one form or another.

Q:  Can you tell us a little about your first Teacher, whose Course you started taking when you were 15?

A:  He died at age 93 the year before I began his Course.  Luckily his wife was 50 years younger, and continued to send out his lessons for many years.  His father was British nobility and his mother was an Indian woman his father met on his travels to the East.  He entered Oxford University at age 15.  He was visiting the Taj Mahal with some friends as a young man when he saw a man near a Bo tree that he recognized, and he excused himself to go see him. 

He remembered the man from catching him as a child when he fell out of a tree.  The man still looked the same as he had then.  The man told him that he was expected as a lamasery in Tibet that no one could possibly find unless they were led there.  He told him they already knew about his whole life.  My Teacher said he had to think about it, and the man told him what hotel in Bombay he was staying at and said be there by the next morning if he wanted to go.

When he went back to his friends they asked him what he was doing, and he told them he went to talk to a familiar man.  They said, ‘What man?  You were alone by yourself the whole time.’

Needless to say, he followed the man to the lamasery in Tibet and didn’t leave until 17 years later, when his Master sent him to America.  He was in Swami Vivekananda’s entourage when he came to Chicago in 1897 to first present Eastern teachings to a Western audience.  He was among the first to meet with Swami Yogananda when he first came to America, before he ever became the Paramahansa. 

He was the Western representative of the Lodge of Mystics or the Great White Brotherhood (having nothing to do with color of skin.)  These are the ones who are primarily responsible for overlooking and guiding the spiritual growth of the people on Earth.  Even the Indian Masters look up to the Masters in the lamaseries of Tibet and Nepal.  He wrote his final Course when he was in his 80’s, and that’s where I received my primary Training, which contains the ‘understanding that will make you free.’  This month, actually, is the month of his birthday.

Our Course is the modern interpretation of the Principles of Truth that have been around for eons, but which did not originate on this planet.  We are like the ‘minor leagues,’ with a few true and authentic Teachers available to take us to higher or more expanded levels of Being.

Our Course is especially important for other teachers to refine their understanding and be initiated into the higher realms available to them.  Trying to teach others without this Training can be limiting, in ways that can’t be understood until the Truth of Being is fully understood.  Like my Teacher before me, I will never be widely known in a public way.  He understood that persecution is the fruit of true Masters revealing themselves or what they actually teach. 

I have already experienced this to a limited degree, and know the perils of fame as a ‘spiritual teacher.’  Those who teach or reveal secret knowledge, or ‘the mysteries', are inevitably persecuted by those who want the Truth to remain what they have always imagined it to be, according to how their minds were molded at a very young age, and they do not want their order of the world threatened.

Q:  Didn’t your Teacher say something about Teachers, including himself?

A:  Yes he did, and this was one of my favorite things he ever wrote, although it took me many years to finally fully understand it:

“He or she is great who disturbs you, irritates you, even affronts you, so that you are shaken out of your habitual ways—fairly pulled out of your mental ruts, lifted up above the commonplace.

“The writer, for instance, is great whom you alternately hate and love—whom you cannot easily forget.  In his private, personal life he may be proud, arrogant, crude, coarse, irritable, absurd, or even immoral…I grant all that…and yet be great.  He is not great because of these reprehensible qualities, but in spite of them.

“The apparent inconsistencies and inequalities of his nature may contribute in great measure to his power, just as the rocks, boulders, chasms, woods, mountains, and valleys make up the grandeur and majesty of the Yosemite, or Yellowstone Park.  So here’s a tip:  Fall in love with your Self and be your own Teacher.  This is my truest and most sincere advice.”

If your destiny is to teach others, be careful how you present yourself.  Be modest and humble among all things.  Don’t let on that you possess ‘the Secret of the Ages’ even if you do.  True knowledge is best concealed, except to those rare ones who are evolved enough to grasp the Truth no matter where it leads them.

I will close the interview at this point.  Thanks to all who put in the time and energy to read this, and may the Truth be revealed more and more to you each day.   

For information about the Course via email, and a complimentary first lesson, please write to:

Thanks to our translators who have volunteered to help make the Course available to as many as possible, the lessons are also available in Spanish and French. 

I’ll meet with you in the ‘comments’ to follow.  Questions contribute to the understanding of all, even if you already ‘know’ the answer in your own way.  A lot happens on a very deep level in that space we share together.  Be Happy.  Be Love.  Celebrate.


FB said...

Thank you. Beautiful and makes one feel/remember that/their inner boundless beauty...and investigate further! :)

Colette DeVore said...

The most amazing thing about the course for me is that it cause this stirring inside me and seemingly without me realizing it until after the fact I am not reacting to things in the way that I used to. all this just from daily repetition of reading the lessons and practicing the exercises to the best of my abilities. It is truly amazing and in a certain way incomprehensiblethat something so seaming ly simple could cause such transformation.

Anne Lindsay said...

As ever, I feel moved and 'en-couraged' by your blog postings Ram. The purity and humility of these Teachings you share freely with us comes through and I feel like I am getting to share in and benefit from the distilled fruits of your sadhana. Which naturally involves being encouraged and guided as to how to engage more fully, ie unconditionally in each moment, with my own.

As I was typing this my mother called out to me to help her do something ... I felt this little surge of irritation I confess at the 'interruption' - then in the next moment I remembered this is perfect sadhana for me now! And with a willing attitude went to do a a little task to assist her. I feel good about that, now I'm back to finish post!
This is just a tiny incident in my life - but for me one of the great strengths of the blog writings and the Course too is the guidance and imparting of Truth in a 'non-denominational' sense that is applicable and practical in each moment, without exception, in all circumstances. Whether it looks like anything considered a spiritual practice is happening or not.

I may not have yet had the experience of the 'big picture' but if and when I can remember and put forth some effort honestly, the teachings have shown me I can surrender more deeply and trustingly into each moment. That feels right and harmonious. And doable! Each present moment seems like this precious pearl, with it's own lustrous beauty and innate perfection. And it probably wouldn't look like I'm making any outward effort to anyone 'else'. I rather love the idea of 'invisible sadhana'. Maybe each moment is like a new incarnation too .. in the journey to the Heart?

My current lesson also speaks about a "primary reason" for us being 'here' is to serve, to help and uplift others. Thank you for your service Ram.
This blog is one to read and re-read.

James Donohue said...

It is a very creative way of writing. The 'self interview' may be something we can do to be intuitive with ourselves. The topic of teachers is something in our local news lately. Also people are sharing very intimately about teachers and themselves. Your western teacher said to fall in love with our Self. That sounds like a safe bet. There are plenty of teachers and coaches out there today. I admit it can be tempting to go here and there and everywhere. I have only so much time. Your opening line about isolation rings a bell with me. It may be more than the winter with me. I am grateful for the course. It helps me deal with that issue of isolation. Also the facebook opportunity is there. It is something I need to continually work on. You mentioned acceptance I still have some difficulty with that. I remember a line from a country song about a relationship between a man and a women, 'flesh and blood needs flesh and blood' I miss that.

Tara Chinmayi said...

Hi! My question is about trusting in life. I noticed while reading this blog that I long to live in that total feeling of trust that you live in. Lately my connection with life feels shaken by many new uncertainties i am facing. Its like the safe little dream world i once lived in has a crack in it, i use to easily trust other people and now i feel wary. I know fear is part of duality. How best to find a new level of Trusting in life?

Christine S. Boyd said...

Having been in the Course for six years, it has become natural to interact with Course participants. I could relate to James Donahue’s comment re isolation. I felt that way for some time and sometimes even blamed others for my feelings of isolation. Over time I noticed the tremendous support here and on your FB page. Between the Course content and these discussions, along with consistent self-effort, I feel like a very different, more awake and aware person from when I started in 2007. If I were to name the main thing that has changed, it is awareness. I read recently in a lesson that animals don’t have awareness of themselves, they react to external stimulus and the ability to self-reflect is one thing that distinguishes us from animals. For years my awareness was contracted and I was reactive and defensive according to my likes and dislikes and habitual patterns. Through the constant reminders and specific themes within the Course, my awareness has expanded. There is a much greater awareness of my true Self and the sensations associated with it. I feel a lightheartedness that I wanted to have when I first read about this quality in the Course lessons. I am so glad I took advantage of the tools here, and the other participants, in staying on target with my goals. It is a simple process but it is not always very easy and these supports make all the difference.

Vicki Hilger said...

Wow, D.R. !!! This is such a wonderful and inspired self - interview. I paused at the words Pure Consciousness, and just let their power be felt - focusing for the first time more on Pure than on Consciousness - and then continued reading, with the feeling of being more strongly drawn in by the energy of the words ( and the spaces....)

I loved the question - where does awareness come from? I ask myself that a lot, only I say God. It's such a fun question, and actually stops the mind totally. How can it ever be answered. I ask my husband that sometimes, and he sagely says "Ahh, that's the great mystery, isn't it? " I hope that one day I'll just know - or will I just be the answer?

My mom was 89 when she left her body and I was in my 60's. It got hard (body-wise) for me to travel across the continent every year to see her. Those once a year visits aren't always so great either - shorter regular ones are enjoyed by many parents whose kids stay closer. I used to think - how long can I keep this up? I loved her dearly, but was actually relieved when it was over.

Sometimes I imagine what it would be like to be 100 years old and have kids that are 80 - or 105 and 85. Now THAT would be really weird!!!

So, I think the 50 year age difference might turn out to be some kind of blessing. It seems to have been so for your first Teacher and his wife.

Thanks again for the terrific blog. I've always been a reader, and meals are no exception. I find that's a great time to read the blog ( even reread it ) and my lessons. After all, I'm sorta sitting down and a captive at the table anyway, so what the hey???

Bushels of love to you and Kay.

Colette DeVore said...

Christine Boyd thank you for articulating so well what i was attempting to express above. It is so amazingly true. The repetition is the key, and when you practice the lessons whole new worlds open up.

Tom Mac said...

When I type out a question to ask here, I find that the answer comes up for me and the question vanishes. I am struck by how this mirrors the style of this months' Blog. A question to myself .... and an answer to myself – both from myself. Quite humorous.

Thoughts are a similiar experience. When I choose to use my will to actually be conscious of and face my thoughts - then they fade away. Like clouds being dissipated by the wind. And what is left?
Thank you for the offering of these Lessons.
Blessings and Love,
Tom Mac

(I like how we are asked to "prove you are not a robot" "I'm not a robot")

D. R. Butler said...

When we focus our attention on the movements of the mind, the mind stops. By staring at it, it remains still.

Harriette said...

Hi Ram - Always love your self-inquiry. Sounds like the mantra could have been Snow Snow, Shovel Shovel. Spring will come.

Your comment on awareness captured me. "Awareness can get you thru dementia" and "Awareness is ahead of everything." Awareness is the doorway. Always awareness. Thank you once again. Love . . . .

FB said...

Started year 4 in Feb of 2015; in year 11 of progressive degenerative physical condition, worn out by 7 p.m., yet via the course you offer am experiencing regeneration and strengthening, and joy of new inner growth! It is wonderful and only gets better and better. Last several evenings became quite aware of a form of 'fighting' or resisting needing to rest, lie down in bed by 7 p.m.; Applying the course teachings, I wondered and understood that the
resisting carries a draining energy, and tried accepting the bedtime, replacing the resisting thoughts and feelings, and just creating positive energy to zonk out with :)
And it works! Evidenced by more restful sleep, dreams, well-being gratitude and deeper meditations! All this lasts throughout each the day too. Gradually improving my state of mind. How wonderful! (I didn't even realize I was resisting, thus creating negative, draining energy!)
Anyway, just a small share that I hope helps others somehow, sure helps me and those around me I'm sure!

vickie said...

"I wanted the knowledge like I wanted to breathe". This line has kept coming back to me...That's really it, isn't it and actually more so...because without it, even breathing is painful and seems to serve no purpose, and with it, even the smallest seemingly most insignificant offering hums with love and purpose. So simple, so close to us all the time..."hidden where most human beings would be unlikely to look for it—within themselves" What a gift it is to allow it out of hiding and share it with others who love it too. with thanks always,

Renuka said...

I finally decided to read all the blog entries. I read for an hour before going to bed one night last week and when I woke up in the morning there was a sentence in my consciousness that I have never had spontaneously before - "I am great"!!! I knew immediately that a deep change has seeped through to my deepest consciousness.

Reading more of the blog this morning I came across this validation of my experience from October 2011.
"The subconscious is formed and molded through conscious concentration and repetition. If we do something consciously often enough, it will be passed on to the subconscious. Therefore we have to make sure that we feed it the right 'food' in positive and uplifting conscious thoughts. So the process of 'conditioning' the subconscious happens through habitual conscious thoughts, and what we consciously accept as true. Then the process of sadhana is the purification of the subconscious impressions, which we know in Sanskrit as 'samskaras.'

How can I express my gratitude for this journey you have shown me that removes my deep-seated self-loathing and judgement of others (the other way around)? I know I was going to get there one day, but now I know there is nowhere to get, and I can just be perfect in this perfect moment; see perfection in myself as I am and others as they are.

Thank you so very much Ram, and Kay. Thank you, thank you and thank you again

Avivit said...

My mind always stops just by reading such a sentence your wrote in this last article:
"It is awareness that allows us to ‘see’ and ‘know’ our thoughts and feelings. It is also awareness to see that there are no thoughts or feelings."
I love it when the mind is empty. I find myself in a vast infinite white space and it is so relaxing....emptying...slate just feels so good I breath differently and become aware how this body is empty is that simple. By reading the lessons of the course I find myself coming back to this space more naturally and quickly...there is a natural pull inward that ocurrs just by re-membering. Thank God for such a gift.

Tom Mac said...

D.R., you write, “Our Course is the modern interpretation of the Principles of Truth that have been around for eons, but which did not originate on this planet.”

This statement is quite a tease! – especially when you add, “We are like the ‘minor leagues...’ ”

Where did the teachings originate?

What comes after the 'minor leagues'?

I am eager to know where I am headed, so I can get a passport visa, and a ticket.
Please save me a seat,
Tom Mac

D. R. Butler said...

Tom Mac, your seat is already saved.

Anders said...

How is it that the lessons seem to get more and more powerful as we go along? It always seems like the new lesson is the best yet.

D. R. Butler said...

Many ways of addressing this. One is that everything seems more powerful because our ability to understand and appreciate is greater than ever before. This is why we can go back to an earlier lesson (which I hope everyone does at least now and then) and we see totally new things we never noticed with previous readings. Our ability to comprehend grows and matures as we experience each lesson.

Perhaps another reason is that the writer becomes more of a pure channel as a result of his own sadhana, which is primarily writing new lessons and, for this time, remaining in contact with participants online.

Another factor is that the actual origin of the Course is manifesting more powerfully during this time than it was before.

This is one way the Course is more effective than a book. We read the book on one level and soon the communication is forgotten and perhaps never practiced at all.

Through the Course, we can go step by step, and the lessons later in the Course can build upon the foundation set by the early lessons. A person in the process of the Course understands a later lesson on a much different level than a person who doesn't participate in the Course who might somehow come across the lesson. Every lesson, every section of the Course, every year, and especially every new Volume, leads naturally to the next new step or dimension in our development. We actually experience the growth and opening as we progress through the Course. Nothing remains the same as before.

Colette DeVore said...

What a great explanation of what happens with each new lesson! I just know that I feel more and more love from reading them and practicing the exercises to the best of my ability. I am freer and less reactive to my karmic play!

Tom Mac said...

Is it only in this realm that we refine our understanding of, and further imbibe the principles of, the truth?

Is it only in this realm that we burn off our samskaras and karma?

I ask this so that I can further clarify and appreciate the role of this current 'life'.

Thank you,
Tom Mac

Anonymous said...

Hello. How are you now? Now in the present only the present stands... this is all leading us to detachment, from our "attachments"! Not "knowing", is knowing? We like to ramble at times with this and that, our life story, the fullness of life in this human condition (that has a price and rewards)... and yet... the balance is a fine tuning process... I feel relieved to let go of the expectations imposed and self-imposed... honoured to walk with you in this field of light and darkness into the cave of our heart. Thank you and love from "me" to "you" (all).

D. R. Butler said...

Wonder why that was from 'Anonymous'?

Tom Mac, you are letting your mind take over too much. It is great that you contemplate, but these 'realms' you speak of are only in your mind.

Not saying they don't exist, but just that all you have to be concerned with right now, and throughout the rest of this incarnation, is seeing the highest in your Self, loving your Self, and seeing that same Self in all others around you. Do not complicate it.

Debra said...

One of the greatest gifts of this course has been learning how to come into harmony with what is, not having judgement about it, not trying to fix it, or celebrate it. There is so much less suffering because of this.

Danaides said...

Dearest Ram, I am soon to be 67, and know that those of us who have been practicing sadhana for 40 years become bizarre hermits to others. Baba said many Saints were nuts. My child is the only person who can turn my mind on, making it very hard to shut it up. He has a great purpose, showing me that even with all the grace I have been given, I can mess things up. I don't participate in the world any more, at least not like most people do. I have a great addiction to the inner self, the Great Masters, and silence. To most I would be called bizarre, but I play along with the world when I have to. My son calls me awesome. So, I will not say you are bizzare (you are not), great, wonderful, or any of that. I know you don't need or want praise. Reading your blog sounds a lot like me these days. Years ago, '77, I was sitting under Baba's house and went into meditation. During that time, my entire identity was stripped away. I was comfortable at first, observing how we are all connected. Then, I began to become frantic, because I was no longer Rebecca ...there was no "me" and I panicked. I did not know it was a great gift, so I fought to get my "me" back. Only now, can I appreciate what happened 38 years ago. What do people do without the Guru, or the mantra for that matter? I am sooo grateful. I liked your interview. Love, Rebecca

Anonymous said...

Dearest Ram, To answer your question, the comment above was from "anonymous" besucase it does not matter who "I" am, bescause it feels safe to be incógnito, and liberating to not attach a name to a thought - because it comes from the Universal Self, so it does not matter really what my name is! : ) Your Beloved Secret Student.

Jana Castellano said...

Thank you, Ram, for such a great post. You state things so simply, without any "window dressing". When I read my lessons and the blog, it always slows me down, my mind softens, and I feel that I come in touch again with what is important. How many times I forget!!! I especially enjoy hearing from and about your original Teacher. Thank you.

Leigh Ellis said...

Thank you again. This is my second time reading this month's blog. As usual, the first time I had nothing to say, so I decided to read it a second time to see what came up.

I love what you said about not trying to make ourselves or others 'better' at this age. I will be sixty in a couple of weeks, and at this age, I have a new relationship, which seems strange in itself. I say your words to myself just accept the other person as he is. It is what I want for myself, so why should I not give that to him? Of course John Prine, as usual, says it all." You are what you are and you ain't what you ain't."

Thank you for all of your channeling and writing. Because of the course, I can love and accept my Self and my self....and I'm having a lot of fun with that!

Much love and many Blessings

Dave Silverstein said...

I love this blog so much....Amazed at the sheer expansion of the words to elicit love. A lot of times I really don't have anything to say, no questions....But, the love I feel in the ever present moment when I read the Course is all I need to know..Perhaps, no...It is more then enough for me to just want to go deeper and deeper inside.. I thank you with all my heart.

J in the UK said...

Interesting explanation of the power of the lessons. I have been reading through the earlier lessons, along with my current lesson. I have found that an earlier lesson has often answered a current question or given me the perfect "tool" to cope with something, in a much clearer way than when I read it before. I then read my current lesson and the "feeling" is very different. The old lesson feels more like reading a normal book, the new one feels
unlike any book! The difference is quite striking.

When reading a new lesson, during the first reading, I have sometimes experienced something very strange. I reach a certain sentence or paragraph and CANNOT read it - I "fall asleep". My mind has not wandered and I haven't dozed off. I am not somehow conscious. It's only for a few seconds, so I start the sentence again, and the same thing happens. After many attempts, I have to give up and move on to the next page, and I read to the end of the lesson without difficulty. Later that day, or at least by the following day, I find I can read the whole lesson with no problem and, frustratingly, can never remember exactly which sentence refused to let me read it! Nothing written seems unusual, difficult or in any way something I might subconsciously wish to block. I wonder if others have experienced this?

Much love to everyone here.
J in the UK

michael said...

"We never really ‘go beyond’ anything, except in self-righteousness."

What do you mean by that statement. The words seem to stick out like a non-sequitor.

Louise said...

Dear Ram, I really appreciate how balanced the lessons are...always reminding us of how important it is to take care of things dharmically at "base camp" and not go scrambling up the mountain looking for peak experiences while missing the view in the Now. Happy Spring to you and Kay!

Rich Baker said...

I often wish I had started living the way of the course decades ago. In hindsight I may have been preparing myself for it all along, because until the day I opened and read the introduction and first lesson I may not have been able to fully comprehend or accept it.
I found out about the course by way of 2 friends who have been taking it since the 70's. They both appeared to have a Love and light emanating from them that was attractive to me. I inquired of one of them "what they were into". By that evening I had the link to this blog texted to me. Don't ask me why, but it was months before I clicked on the link (We know why. It was not my karma to open it until I opened it). Perfect timing !!
What's that saying? When the student's ready the teacher will appeared. Well guess what? I was ready and You appeared Ram. You, with all the knowledge of your lineage. (I don't know where any of this is coming from. What i'm writing and what I started writing are two different things. This is writing in the present moment).
I can't thank you enough or say enough about the course. Each lesson is precisely where I'm at. I read repeatedly and am dumbfounded that I find something new each time. I thirst for this knowledge. My life has started a new chapter and it's a doozie!!
Thanks again :-)

J in the UK said...

To clarify my comment that going back to earlier lessons feels more like reading a normal book, I am referring only to the degree to which the lessons seem to take me into a meditative type of state while reading them. I did not mean to imply that the earlier lessons are like a normal book and are less valuable - in case anyone reading this is new to the Course.

On reflection, I think I have been re-reading the earlier lessons more in the frame of mind of looking out for something, rather than allowing myself to be immersed in it.

Regarding "reading between the lines", is this something we are aware of, or does it happen subconsciously? Occasionally, I read something which registers as being so profoundly exciting or important that I must ensure I remember it, and I make a split-second decision to re-read it, only to find that what I'm looking at bears no relation at all to what I supposedly read just a second or two before. The very important sentence has gone, and I can't remember what it was about. I can tell that my 'conscious' mind kicked in to think "this is important" and pulled me out of the state I was in when I had access to it. I have never managed to get back to it.

Is this what you mean by reading between the lines and, if so, is it necessary to re-read the disappearing words, or have they 'gone in' subconsciously? Or am I nuts and seeing things that aren't there?

If this is too long, or unsuitable for this blog, I'll just wish everyone a very happy Easter. I am so glad to be part of this community.

D. R. Butler said...

J in the UK, thanks for your question. The process of participating in the Course is very mysterious. At first it is challenging to find any consistent coherence in the writings. Primarily the Course helps to awaken us from our dream of conformity, assumption, and predictability. The lessons of the Course throw us off balance, out of our usual comfort zones, and throw light on many aspects of life that we were previously unaware of. The Course is experiential, not intellectual or assuming. One sentence may seem unrelated to the previous sentence, and yet when we experience them together, it sparks an insight or expansive vision that is beyond anything in either of the two sentences. The written words are to entertain the mind long enough for a transformative energy to be transmitted, which happens through repetitive readings. If we read something one time, our experience of it is completely different than it we read it seven days in a row, for by that seventh reading the mind expands enough for true wisdom to be communicated.

Mayuri said...

Like Vicki said, I too paused at the words "Pure Consciousness" They poured over me as a scintillating presence. Why do I even bother coming back from resting it that experience? Ah…. here we are, in this world and we do need to show up for the karma, but to be able to rest in awareness…. what a delicacy - can one even imagine how sweet life would be if no matter what was going on, we were resting in contentment? The course does help us move closer and closer to this possibility.

I truly appreciate what was said in the comments about the realization that resisting is an energy drain. I found this week as there were more details to take care of than I could possibly manage, that by giving myself to it, to stop resisting, and instead to treat what needed to be done like a contra dance, with a lot of balance and swing - then I was able to go with the flow and be productive, and not so cranky!

Love the course, love the blog. Mayuri-

Steu Mann said...

I can relate to what you say about children being a great teachers for you. Even though I have not lived close to or visited my kids much since since they were young, about 25 years now, they still teach me the wonders of life almost daily.

Thanks for being so open and sharing with about your teacher in this post. Wow, that has to be a tad "risky" as I think about it .... you are inspiring me to be more risky. That sure feels uncomfortable.

I was wondering, in the lesson I am reading right now, on page 7, it talks about the Principles of the constitution of Man. Is there a book or other material on that I can read?

Besides the amazing evolution of my life from reading you lessons, I have found some very heart opening material when following up on people, quotes, and ideas you mention in the lessons.

Happy Resurrection Day tomorrow, may be all be blessed with our awareness of the Christ consciousness within out hearts on this special day. Cheers, Steu

Ellen said...

I am reading volume 2 lesson 29. I feel like I maybe understood this at some point but right now I dont know: It is written about the ego appropriating things to itself, taking things personally--

When recurring things happen in different jobs throughout my life, for example, shouldn't I take this "personally" and realize there is something about "me" I need to change?

maybe what i need to change is precisely, for me, taking it all personally, always wondering what people think of me at work has always been my problem with a big lack of confidence, fear of my boss...
How do I simply identify with the "eternal" or "the Self" ... when I don't feel like there's anything I can "attach to" since that seems like something I have never seen and can't identify (The Self)? .. I used to feel such strong attachment at moments to a higher power, specifically my teacher--- (my Guru).....
how do I not take personally the things happening to me at work- that seem stemmed from my own actions/samskaras. . (and I want to stop this pattern now-- because I'm looking for a new job, been living in fear around all of the melodrama in my life, so very much taking it all personally).

Ellen said...

p.s. the lessons have a palpable energy to them that I can feel more so than before-- so I think I might be making some "progress" here. ... but it doesn't seem like it to myself on the outside at all. . .

Kay Butler said...

This question came in from a participant who receives the Course via French translations (thank you to all the wonderful translators who make that possible). She is nearing the end of Volume 1, and she writes: "I am well aware of samskaras and more than ever of their power. I feel that these patterns of thought and behavior dominate me. I make real efforts to "limit the damage" but some days they are the winners and I'm desperate. It's like a force imprisons me and I cannot do anything. I feel that I live in anger, reactivity, etc. I implored grace but I feel that this is a volcano of suffering, shame. Thank you again for this course, which was able to show me the true meaning of life! With Love Bindu"

Jim said...

I hear you Bindu. Sometimes the tendencies seem like tidal waves and I feel thoroughly owned. I could also compare the experience to the flu. There can be a sense that I have to resign myself to wait it out and mitigate the symptoms best I can. With certain tendencies, such as bouts of anger or resentment, I get a glimpse that it's like associating with a gangster or owning a tempermental doberman. I know I'm in dangerous company, but I look the other way and allow for the damage because I think I'm getting some kind of protection or leverage.

I think the lessons are pointing me to merely witness the whole thing. All the patterns, tendencies, samskaras -- to meet them head on is to engage them and actually fuel them. Because that hyper-attention comes from a need to fix and control, and ultimately from a sense of lack, unworth and impurity. It's adding more darkness to the darkness.

One of the most important things to work on then, seems to be changing my concept about what it is I need to change in myself. There are tendencies that even the saints didn't ditch. Maybe not because the couldn't, but because it was never really the important work. The most important work, it would seem, is to learn to unconditionally love the Self, and become tolerant of, even endearing toward, the quirks and tendencies of the resident personality.

D. R. Butler said...

Steu Mann, I do not know where you can get more information on that subject. More will be revealed in the Course in later lessons.

That's one of the main reasons I feel bad when someone quits the Course, usually because they haven't been reading the lessons; because I know there is so much great stuff ahead that I hate for them to miss out on. But I guess the truth is simply that they are not ready or prepared to go further.

D. R. Butler said...

Ellen, while reading your comment, it came up for me that you might benefit from reading your lessons more often. More readings sink the insight of understanding even deeper.

The only aspect of you that can take anything personally is the ego. The Self, your true Identity, does not take anything personally. In fact, it takes everything impersonally. Only the ego cares what others think, or that it needs to change something.

You ask, "How do I simply identify with the "eternal" or "the Self" ... when I don't feel like there's anything I can "attach to" since that seems like something I have never seen and can't identify (The Self)?"

There is no difference between the Seer and the Self. The 'I' that would see you identify with the eternal Self IS the eternal Self. It is the Self that sees that you can't 'attach to', the Self that knows you have never seen something, and the Self that knows that you can't identify with it.

The Self is the Seer of all that is seen and the Knower of all that is known. It cannot itself be seen or known.

You will come to understand all this much better as you progress through the Course.

D. R. Butler said...

This is for Bindu, the French student that Kay posted a question from. You are nearing the end of Volume 1, and much has changed in you, but still you describe the human condition, and it takes more than one Volume to fully understand it and get totally free from it.

Samskaras are very powerful and have been formed over numerous incarnations. It is our life's work to be free from them, yet it cannot be done overnight, or simply by deciding to do so.

You will come to understand a lot in Volume 2 that will clear a lot of this up for you. Simply make sure you give each lesson a number of readings before going on to the next new one.

Also, be compassionate for yourself; be kind to yourself; be forgiving for the way you are, however it is. There is no hurry so don't be impatient. The butterfly emerges from the cocoon when the time is right. The same will be true of us. There is much to come, and plenty of 'time' for it to work itself out perfectly.

D. R. Butler said...

Bindu, I also like Jim's comment.

Ellen said...

thank you. In my current lesson it says "since we have perfected all the preceding exercises, lets simply focus on the eternal serenity of all things." ... I don't feel like I have perfected the preceding exercises. And from your comment, I should read them more often, and go back and read more from the past? My ego is attaching to feeling like I lost the skill in this work at some point, and I feel like a failure. . . that I wont get to the place others are at. In general I am experiencing this in almost every area of life ... but in this area it is the most painful to face.

Colette DeVore said...

Dearest Ellen, when my mind shares what your mind is sharing right now and I catch it. I thank it fro sharing LOL and say next and laugh again. Just remenber that you are perfect and will never be ideal. Love and blessings to you Karuna

Pam H said...

In my current understanding from the lessons, we are already in that place and not going anywhere. We have to grasp the truth of the present moment and live in the awareness of it??? It can be so mind boggling to me at times too!!! Thank you Kay and Ram!!!!

Kay Butler said...

Hello everybody...this came in from a participant who asked to remain anonymous:

"I don't know how else to say it. If I can't find a way to solve my money samskaras and earn a living I fear one day it may cost me my life. Please help me"

I send my most heartfelt blessings to this loved one who is obviously in pain, and ask whether you might have some words of wisdom for him.

D. R. Butler said...

Some questions above have not been answered, and there have been other questions to come in that have not been posted. It is time for a new blog entry, so I am going to take the questions, and whatever other questions you might care to post here, in the new blog, which should be ready soon. Thanks to all of you for your questions and your participation.